Recorded in over seventy spellings forms including Robert, Robart, Robb, and Rupert, which is from the same root, to Luparti of Italy, Rubke and Ruppertz of Germany, Rops and Rubbens of Flanders, Roberts and Robertson of England and Scotland, this is a surname of pre 7th century Germanic origins. It derives from the male given name "Hrodbeorht", a compound consisting of the elements "hrod", meaning renown, and "beorht", bright or famous. This type of (originally) baptismal name, was very popular throughout Europe for many centuries, and has remained so today. Like the name Ro(d)ger with which it shares a similar ancestry, it was 'adopted' by the Norsemen as they swept through Northern Europe on their march of conquest which took them to Normandy (the home of the North men), in the 10th century. The final joining of the circle was to introduce the name into Britain after The Conquest of 1066. As Rodbertus, Rotbert and Robert, the name is recorded in the famous Domesday Book of 1086. It was adopted as a surname in Europe in the latter half of the 13th Century, and early recordings include: John Roberd, in the Hundred Rolls of Berkshire, dated 1279, Counrad Ruprecht of Eblingen, Germany, in 1282, and William Robert, in the Fines Court Rolls of the county of Essex, England, in 1292. Other recordings of the medieval period include Richard Roberdes, which was dated 1327, in the Subsidy Rolls of Worcestershire, England, Neyneke Robeken of Hannover, Germany, in 1359, and Eberlin Rubbart, of Stuttgart, Bavaria, in 1445. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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